Ka Punahou Moves Online

Front+page+of+the+first+edition+of+Ka+Punahou%2C+October+1919

Front page of the first edition of Ka Punahou, October 1919

 

PAUAHI BRIDGE – After 100 years in print, Ka Punahou has launched kapunahou.org, an online resource for student-produced journalism at Punahou School. Over time, the student editors and faculty advisors hope that the website will become the main source for student news on campus.  

The first print edition of Ka Punahou was published in the fall semester of 1919.  Front page stories for that edition included a recap of a recent football game against Kamehameha School, as well as a summary of a former Punahou teacher’s experience fighting in the First World War (see photo).  

Ka Punahou has a long tradition of covering important events both on and off campus, all from the student perspective. In early 1942 student journalists covered the attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent military takeover of Punahou campus.  Stories included a move to UH campus as well as rule changes, including certain allowances for the female students to wear pants to school so that they could run faster in the event of another air attack. 

In later years, student journalists covered a visit from Martin Luther King Jr in 1959, Punahou student reactions to the September 11 attacks in 2001,  as well as a chapel speech in 2005 from the newly-elected senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. 

Other noteworthy, though perhaps less historic topics include the theft of $50,000 in carnival funds from a safe in the Sullivan building in 2003, and a controversial chapel in 2004 where some students openly protested the political nature of the chaplain’s message. 

The paper has changed over time.  In the early days students sold ad space to local businesses to cover their printing costs.  This practice eventually became unnecessary when the school allocated funds in the budget for printing and other expenses.  Later volumes began to make space for artwork, and eventually photos.  

As the paper prepares to transition one more time, the current editors and staff wish to make it clear that the launch of an online news site in no way signals the death of the print edition.  

Mr. Comstock, current faculty advisor of Ka Punahou said, “After one hundred years, I’m not going to be the one to end the print edition.  I still believe having a physical copy of the paper is important, essential.  Though, I do think we will rethink it.  Make it more about the visual appeal or make it more fun.  Maybe open it up as a place for more long-form journalistic work.”

Current senior editors pointed out that though print journalism has been on the decline, students still get excited to see their articles and photos published in the paper, either in print or online.  Senior editor Ray Sakamoto ‘20 said, “With the expansion online, the hope is that more students will be able to have their voices heard, and that those voices will be able to reach a wider audience.”